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Leaders Like Us - Booklist Review October 2021

Leaders Like Us - Booklist Review October 2021

Posted by Rourke Educational Media Admin on

These new picture-book biographies in the Leaders like Us series (written and illustrated by Black women) place a well-deserved spotlight on lesser-known Black Americans who were leaders in their fields. Civil rights activism, journalism, and politics are discussed in Charlotta Bass, which describes the impressive accomplishments of this Rhode Island native as she published her own newspaper for Black Americans and became a Vice Presidential nominee in 1952. Jackie Ormes introduces fashionable comics creator Ormes, who kicked stereotypes to the curb with her popular comics (the first by a Black woman to be nationally syndicated) featuring smart, successful, and attractive Black characters, like Torchy Brown. Leland Melvin highlights Melvin’s unlikely career as an NFL player and astronaut—truly the American dream—and draws attention to his passion for space science and inspiring youth. Readers enter the NASCAR circuit in Wendell Scott, where they’ll see impressive driving unfortunately hampered by racism; Scott saw his first-place trophy in the 1963 Grand National Series race—the first won by any Black driver—awarded to a white man instead, a slight finally corrected in 2010. Occasionally the writing lacks smooth transitions, but all the books give a clear sense of their subjects, the importance of their work, and obstacles they overcame. Welcoming, full-page illustrations, reading-comprehension questions, and an activity prompt round out each title in this worthwhile series.

—Booklist

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